Acing Your Midlife Math Quiz.

March 11, 2024

Acing Your Midlife Math Quiz.

May 29, 2023

I’ve said before that our longevity literacy sucks. When we underestimate how much life we have on the planet, we’re not as smart about saving money, courageous about trying new things, or healthy enough to keep our rental vehicle (our body) well-maintained. So, here are five questions meant to improve your understanding of midlife so you can live a longer, happier life.

  1. What percentage of your adult life is still ahead of you?

  1. According to my book “Learning to Love Midlife,” when does midlife start and end (hint: midlife is the long bridge between early adulthood and later adulthood)?

  1. According to the U-curve of Happiness research, what’s the exact global average age of the lowest point of adult life satisfaction, knowing that we get happier with each year after that?

  1. Yale’s Becca Levy’s research has shown that if we shift our mindset on aging from a negative to a positive we gain how many years of additional life (it’s more life added than if we quit smoking or start exercising at 50)?

  1. There are many things that get better with age, but one of them is our emotional intelligence (EQ). In which decade does our EQ peak?

Before I give you the answers, know that there’s a Midlife Check-Up Quiz on my personal website that is much more in-depth than this and helps you to understand which of the 12 reasons why life gets better with age most and least resonates with you. 

THE ANSWERS

  1. To answer this correctly, you need to estimate at what age you will die and calculate how far along you are between 18 and that age of death. For example, the average age of those who come to MEA is 54 and the average age they think they’ll live to is 90. Miraculously, 54 is halfway between 18 and 90, so our average MEA alum has half their adult life still ahead of them. Wow, that’s a revelation!

  1. Many sociologists now believe that midlife lasts from 35 to 75. Forty years is a marathon so it’s time to let go of some of that baggage you’re carrying. 

  1. 47.2 is the exact low point on the U-curve of Happiness and we get happier every year after that, although your mileage may vary. 

  1. There is almost no physical intervention (diet, sleep, exercise) that creates more longevity than shifting your perspective on aging from a negative to a positive which gives you 7.5 years of additional life. 

  1. According to Robert Levenson at U.C. Berkeley, our emotional intelligence peaks around 60 and our 60s are likely our highest EQ decade. 

How’d you do? The better we understand midlife and beyond, the better we’ll live and love midlife and beyond.

-Chip

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